Solar Panels Trade Case: revised price control mechanism regulation through on a technicality

Brussels, 8 September – Yesterday, in a meeting of the EU Member States trade experts, the European Commission proposal to replace the price undertaking with a new Minimum Import Price (MIP) on solar panels and cells was opposed by 13 Member States and actively supported by only 1 Member State. The remaining 14 Member States simply abstained. The European Commission proposal had been lowered by 2 cents on 1 September to reflect the serious concerns expressed by the industry to the original higher MIP.

Dr. Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, said “DG Trade felt the pressure and reduced the MIP price just days before the vote. There is virtually no support for the new MIP among the solar industry. The lack of active support by the Member States to the new MIP casts doubts on whether these new measures would support the intended gradual phase-out of the measures by September 2018 as agreed by the College of Commissioners in February this year.”

Westermeier added “the new MIP sets the price of solar panels around 30% higher than today´s market price. It is difficult to understand how this MIP will pave the way to the phase out of the measures next year. This does not only harm European solar companies, but also increases the cost of solar for consumers, governments and the European society at large.”

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, stated “We are seriously concerned with the effect the new MIP will have on solar in Europe. Prices that are significantly higher than the market will obviously harm solar deployment. This measure is the opposite of what we need to drive a cost-effective energy transition.”

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